Hi guys.

The above is a suitable title for this post. Horizons is or should I say staff with in and supported by our Palmerston North councillors including our Chair Bruce Gordon and the members on the council advisory group, whom I have named in a previous post, has become, in my view a political organisation seeking the economic and political out comes they desire.

Chapter 6 of the Decisions version of the One Plan has been completely rewritten  with large new sections added, and enabled by the use of expert witnesses . One commentator I use suggests these experts are in fact Staff.

The One Plan costs widely reported in the media are $28 million. Staff and a select group of Councillors, as above, have totaly subverted  the consultative process including the hearings panels decision and manipulated the Resource Management Act  with regard to delegations, to effectively shut out the balance of Councillors around the table. Thus rewriting the Plan to achieve the objectives they desire.

We still have to approve the Plan(s) under Schedule One of the RMA, but do not hold your breath for any changes. The balance of Councillors, being  Burnell, Cox, Mc Keller, Walker and Barrow either do not have any idea of the significance of the issues, or support in part, or it is just plain beyond them.

I know that the Feds and Hort NZ are running around trying to get some Councillors to vote the right way at that point, or in the case of Hort NZ , just plain slagging council enmass off.

Frankly I do not have any time for either organisation. Both had the chance to support Property Rights In New Zealand inc in the High Court, 12 months ago. Neither did. In fact, as I have previously reported ,the Feds opposed PRINZ, supporting Horizons. We will not be paying our sub this year. Both organisations are just posturing, taking their members money. A classic example of this is that the High Court judge hearing the  appeal both organisations are taking too, Justice Steven Ko’s, is an elected member of Fish and Game. Another appellant on the other side supporting  negative. He cannot hear this appeal. Rule number one. All about perception, and the appellents right to unbiased natural Justice. Both organisations are quite comfortable with Justice Ko’s. Would you be?

Justice Ko’s did not declare his conflict to PRINZ in the High Court last year. He must have thought john and i were just a couple of country hicks, and treated us accordingly.

PRINZ believes they were right on every point of law they appealed, and have taken the unusual step of complaining to the Judical Conduct Commissioner. Lets face it. Nobody else is serious about trying to tip this Plan(s) up.

PRINZ has put alot of effort into the conduct of the Council Advisory Group, and the CEO. We concluded that we will never know just how much weight the Environment Court put on Staff (sic) evidence, even though there must have been some. PRINZ is looking at  trying to ensure that the delegated process is not abused in future. How successful we will be  will be in the lap of the government representatives we will present our findings and recommendations too.

Ministry of Primary Industries Minister. Minister Guy, yes that name again, was a guest speaker at the provincial  meeting of the Waikato Feds last week. I am informned that the question of intervening in the implementation process, and appointing commissioners to run Horizons is off the agenda. Those communities most affected have the ability under current legislation to seek plan changes in future to address their concerns. That was his reply in a nut shell as I understand it. I know the Feds are also pushing this view. Ain’t going to happen. Councillors (excluding my self) are just not skilled enough or simply do not want to listen.

My advice . Get out of debt. Visit South America. I know it is hard to get the wife to agree, and the climate is not helping. I include the meat and wool processing industry.

Rates in arrears have taken a large negative hit, you will not find that printed explicitly in the Annual report, but look to the Bad Debtors and Nonrecoverable Monies section, including cash on hand in the financials. I will not tell you the page no’s because you all need to start reading this and similar documents. Only then will we start to get some democratic sense out of these political extremists.

The Annual Plan process is underway, submissions close on May the 6th. Horizons are making a big play at atleast one District Council to get their planned sewage upgrades underway. Millions of  dollars to be spent, and these councils also have the same rates collection issues. Ruapehu has signalled large cuts and defers to large sections of it operations.

This was behind Councilor Cox’s motion last Regional Council meeting to slash $1.1 million off Horizons rate demand for the coming year. I supported this, and got alot of bad press from my local paper as a consequence. The only time I get any press coverage. Have you noted that. In addition I certainly got the please explain from local Iwi reps ,with regard to the Tawata project, which of course I must expect.

The Kai Wharite programme has the skids under it , and has done since last year, and the Dept of Conservation admitting openly to council that they have driven schedule E through the Councils planning process, certainly annoyed some Councillors. The Tawata programme as I reported last post has some really good social out comes, and was always going to get their funding.

It is just that Cr Mc Keller lost his nerve and jumped ship, thus giving the extremists camp the opportunity to call a extraordinary Regional Council meeting to overturn the decision of the previous week. An added bonus was that it would have led to the variation of the Bio-D provisions and writing out of schedule E and its regulatory provisions…. Oh well.

I am standing for council again. The Manawatu Standard has pestered me all last week for a response. Some one has to try to stay there to represent  communities and push for sustainable policies, and hows this, there may just be huge changes around the table, and I will get some mates who really are hot on change ,positive change and things will change for the better. I guess now the great clobbering machine will wind up. My greatest concern is that the opposition will try to split the rural vote , putting up another rural candidate, thus letting in a green urban voice.

Any way. My advice for the week. Get out of debt. Oh of course plant a garden.